Friday, March 19, 2021

My First Covid Vaccine Jab


I thought I would just do a quick blog about my first vaccine injection which I've had today, 6th March 2021. If you haven't had yours yet maybe this will help you. I encourage everyone who can to get their jabs as soon as they're invited, if they are able! Vaccines are safe, and protect all of us, including those who can't get vaccines because they're immunocompromised or something like that. This one hasn't been on the market very long, that's true, but that's partly because the makers haven't had to wait for funding to come through - they've had money thrown at them by governments and so on, and apparently waiting for funding is what usually takes forever in science like this!

Recently, the NHS started doing vaccines on everyone up to Group 6. This included anyone whose BMI is over 40. A lot of people didn't know this, but I saw fat friends of mine post about it in various places. They were saying you could book a vaccine online, but that if you couldn't, you might need to speak to your GP surgery and make sure they knew you have a high BMI. I left it for a few days. I would be in Group 6 because of my chronic illnesses anyway, so I thought for sure my surgery would be in touch soon.

However, a week or more went by and I was getting a bit anxious, so eventually I went on the NHS website and put my details in. I didn't know my NHS number but I could put my date of birth in instead. It is obvious that if it lets you book an appointment, then you are in one of the risk groups and that's fine. I was offered a choice of venues, none of which were less than ten miles away from my house. The date was also 2.5 weeks away, but that was okay. I was lucky because I knew Lee would drive me to the appointment (and I could drive myself, I just would prefer not to) but if you couldn't get there easily that would be a problem. I knew they had been doing vaccines at my GP surgery but that didn't pop up as a choice. So I booked somewhere in Wakefield and booked the 2nd appointment at the same time, and as far as I was concerned, that was that.

However! Two days later I got a text from my GP surgery inviting me to a clinic at my surgery between 2pm and 3pm on Saturday the 6th. This was closer both in time and geographically so I cancelled my other appointments and went along to the doctor's at 2pm. There were a few people queueing in front of me - maybe 15. We had to queue out of the surgery and into the courtyard they have. I can't queue very well because it hurts me so much, but the line was moving quite quickly so I didn't worry too much. It was cold though! But before long I was in the surgery, with only 3 people ahead of me. 

I had to give my name to a lady on the front desk. She gave me a medical record print out for me, which included my current medication and my known allergies, which includes penicillin. Apparently I had an averse reaction to penicillin in 1991, which is way later in my life than I thought. I'm often told that babies grown out of a penicillin allergy, but I was seven so much older than that! I never let a doctor or dentist prescribe it to me. 

There were some questions to make sure you hadn't had another vaccination and to make sure you didn't currently have Covid, and then I queued a tiny bit longer before I went into a room. I asked to have the jab in my right arm, my non-dominant arm, cos I've heard that everyone's arm hurts after. I sat down and pulled my sleeve up. One nurse on my left was writing down the details on the card, and telling me that my appointment would come through for the second jab in a few weeks, and in the time it took her to do that, the other nurse had jabbed my arm and that was it. I was done! It barely hurt at all. Queueing had taken the most time!

Currently, my right arm hurts - but it had been hurting anyway (I think I've got some RSI in it...) and it's honestly not much more than that. I'll see how I feel tomorrow!

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